Articles in Category: Sourcing Strategies

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Airbus has risen to rival Boeing to form a duopoly despite the plane maker operating across multiple countries and, even before the pandemic, facing problems of scale, fragmentation and lack of profitability.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging impacts on the global economy, disrupting supply chains and depressing commodities markets.

As Deloitte noted in a recent report on COVID-19 — the “black swan of 2020” — the pandemic’s total impact on supply chains is still unknown.

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As the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc around the world, the crisis has already left a major mark on societies, politics and business.

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The outbreak has disrupted supply chains and led to the idling or slowdown of operations in North America (and across the world).

With shelter-in-place orders instituted in many places throughout the U.S. and lingering uncertainty — even as the U.S. Senate voted this week to approve an over $2 trillion stimulus package — the climate is ripe for some potentially awkward conversations with suppliers about payment concessions.

Over at MetalMiner’s sister site SpendMatters, Jason Busch outlined techniques and strategies that can be used when approaching suppliers about concessions on payments.

“Disruption from the coronavirus outbreak is forcing some tough conversations about payments,” Busch wrote.

“It’s never an easy topic, but asking suppliers for concessions on a call or video chat in an empathetic manner — or even pre-empting the discussions by socializing ideas early — is far more effective and conducive for relationship-building and joint development than sending out emails, letters or other methods.”

Busch suggests laying the groundwork for these types of potentially tricky conservations by humanizing the discussion and being prepared to counter with empathy and open-ended questions.

“It’s even possible to get them to volunteer a solution, without yielding ground, rather than being confrontational and demanding,” Busch wrote. “These approaches are likely to be more effective, and result in better relationships, while also surfacing information you would not have otherwise discovered in the process, and that information may help you reduce risk and/or improve your negotiating position.”

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Read the full article at SpendMatters.

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How will the coronavirus outbreak and oil price volatility impact metal prices in 2020 and how can industrial metal buying organizations be prepared for what’s ahead?

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This past Friday, the MetalMiner team hosted a pop-up webinar on that very subject, “Managing Metal Price Volatility: How the Coronavirus Will Impact Metal Prices Throughout 2020,” featuring MetalMiner CEO Lisa Reisman, MetalMiner Editor-at-Large Stuart Burns and Vice President of Business Solutions Don Hauser.

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As government entities in the U.S. battle to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), incrementally stricter provisions on public gatherings have been implemented. Large businesses, from casinos on the Las Vegas strip to Disney World, have closed up shop.

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As of 4:00 p.m. CET (Central European Time) on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 168,109 confirmed cases in 148 countries, including 6,610 deaths.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the coverage here on MetalMiner, including: Tesla’s reported interest in cobalt-free batteries; the oil price crash; falling aluminum prices; supply-chain challenges amid the COVID-19 outbreak; Trump’s travel suspension; and global cobalt mine production:

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Experts in India are of the opinion that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, presents an opportunity for India to become an alternate supply chain to China in metals, especially steel.

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TV Narendran, Tata Steel’s chief executive and managing director, is one of the people who believes just that.

While addressing a meeting of business representatives recently, he said the de-risking of supply chains originating from China, which had started following heightened concerns of a U.S.-China trade war, was likely to be accelerated on the back of concerns over the recent outbreak.

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This morning in metals news, German firm Thyssenkrupp announced the sale of its elevator segment, the U.S.’s trade deficit in goods dipped in January and the International Tin Association recently surveyed tin producers regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

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If the new coronavirus, COVID-19, has shown anything — apart from the risks of eating certain types of meat — it is the vulnerability of supply chains.

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An Economist article last week explored the impact the virus and the steps taken to manage it are having on global supply chains and, in particular, on those at the end of the chain, including firms like Apple.

The shares of American firms with strong exposure to China have underperformed the S&P 500 index by 5% since early January, when news of the outbreak first broke, the article notes.

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This morning in metals news, the U.S.’s imports of steel are down 13.7% in the year to date, miner Glencore is partnering with other companies at the World Economic Forum on responsible sourcing and the Aluminum Association supported a bipartisan letter to Congress lobbying for an aluminum import monitoring program.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Steel Imports Down 13.7%

U.S. imports of steel fell 13.7% through the first nine months of the year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The U.S. imported 22.6 million tons during the nine-month period this year.

In September, the U.S. imported 1.9 million tons of steel, down 6.2% compared with the August import total.

Glencore to Partner on Responsible Sourcing

Along with other companies, miner Glencore announced it will work on responsible sourcing initiatives with the World Economic Forum.

Glencore will participate in the Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative, which will “explore the building of a blockchain platform to address transparency, the track and tracing of materials, the reporting of carbon emissions or increasing efficiency.”

Other companies participating in the initiative are: Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group Sàrl, Klöckner & Co, Minsur SA, Tata Steel Limited and Anglo American/De Beers (Tracr).

Aluminum Association Applauds Letter on Import Monitoring

The Aluminum Association on Thursday applauded a letter sent by members of Congress advocating for an aluminum import monitoring program.

“On behalf of the 162,000 Americans working in aluminum, we appreciate this bipartisan effort to shore up trade enforcement in our sector,” said Joe Quinn, vice president of public affairs at the Aluminum Association, in a release. “An aluminum import monitoring system is a necessary step to ensure that all aluminum producers are operating on a level playing field in a fair, rules-based global trading system.”

The letter, co-authored by the chairs of the Congressional Aluminum Caucus and addressed to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, cites China’s aluminum production growth.

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“A monitoring program would give the U.S. government — and the aluminum manufacturing sector — new tools to identify trends and trade flows to determine if there is circumvention or evasion of the industry’s AD/CVD orders and to swiftly address illegal activity,” the letter states. “Notably, Canada recently expanded its import monitoring system to include aluminum and aluminum products.”

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